Bohland, Charlyn. 2008. Restorative Justice: A New Approach to Battling Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Honors Senior Research Project. University of Akron.
The reality of driving under the influence (DUI) is sobering. Over 17,000 people die each year as a result of preventable alcohol-related crashes. While 1.4 million people are arrested for DUI, there are nearly 159 million others who self-confess to DUI each year. Within three years of being arrested, three-fourths of offenders will be rearrested for DUI. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the predictable failure of current criminal justice standards, and the hope and promise of a new wave of justice – restorative. Restorative justice focuses on healing the injustice of the crime through direct person-to-person interaction in several different ways –community reparative boards, family conferences, mediations, and victim impact panels. Research is based on a relatively current compilation of national and international studies regarding DUI cases, criminal justice standards, and restorative justice initiatives. Finally, and most importantly, this project presents an adaptable model for dealing with drunken driving offenders, both first-time and repeat offenders, using restorative measures as an effective means of curbing the number of deaths, decreasing recidivism rates, and drastically reducing the number of DUI cases, all while restoring the victim, offender, and community to its original state before DUI tragedies occur.